Illinois in-person betting registration continues

Simona Boshkova | Published 28 Jul 2020, 10:05 a.m.

Players in Illinois who want to wager online will once again have to register their accounts for online sports betting in-person. This comes after Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order revoking remote registration for mobile sports betting accounts.

The Governor’s decision on the legislation means that players in Illinois who want to create an online account will have to go to the betting company’s land-based casino or racetrack partner. At this moment, the only Illinois-based casino with an online betting app is the Rivers Casino Des Plaines, and it’s expected that others will launch soon.

DraftKings among the operators waiting to launch

Last month, Governor Pritzker signed the Executive Order 2020-41, which relaxed the requirement for players to register in-person in order to access online sports betting services. The in-person registration wasn’t possible since the state’s land-based casinos were closed in March. However, casinos reopened from July 1, which led to the Governor’s decision not to renew the order that paused in-person registration. Now, the players will have to again register at approved land-based casinos to open a new online betting account.

As mentioned, the only land-based casino currently opened in Illinois is the Rivers Casino Des Plaines. But, among the operators waiting to launch is DraftKings, which announced plans to enter the Illinois sports betting market through its partnership with Casino Queen. The deal appeared to allow DraftKings to avoid the 18-month ‘time out’ in the state’s betting legislation prohibiting online operators from receiving a master licence. 

While DraftKings received its permit to operate in Illinois, its partner property Casino Queen continues with the plan to launch its app in the state. Moreover, it is rumoured that another major daily sports fantasy operator, FanDuel, is making deals with the Fairmount Park Racetrack near St. Louis, which will allow it to operate online in Illinois under its own brand name. However, the reimposition of in-person registration might negatively impact Illinois online betting market with players having to travel significant distances if they want to register an account.

Massachusetts sports betting back on the table

On Friday, sports betting legislation for Massachusetts was introduced in a bill called HB 4879. A chapter of the bill was called the “Massachusetts Sports Wagering Act” and it regulates sports betting. If this bill makes it through the Massachusetts legislature next week, it seems like the Governor Charlie Baker will sign off on it. The Governor said that legalising sports betting in Massachusetts would generate more revenue for the state. He added that they wanted to give players the opportunity to play in Massachusetts rather than playing elsewhere.

The new draft of the bill includes online and mobile sports betting within the state borders. If the bill gets signed, players with at least 21 years of age will be allowed to bet at the state’s casinos and horse tracks. Sports betting would be taxed at 15% and there would be an initial $250,000 application fee for operators. The applications would be approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

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